BLYDE WAKE-UP CALLS
5 BURNING QUESTIONS TO MERICK SCHOUTE FROM HOLIE FOODS
The past years have laid bare many truths about our current model of capitalism — the severe income inequality and the belief that human lives and environmental impact are expendable for better profit margins. The changemakers in the growing Certified B Corporation community are demanding an end to the myth that profits must come at the expense of purpose, and environmental and social care. It’s time to wake up, it’s time for action.
At Blyde, we question the status quo. We believe in the power of the collective, in taking a stand and inspiring people by showing what can and must be changed. In our weekly Wake-Up Calls, Blyde stirs up hunger for positive change. We listen to several B Corp voices who talk about their call to action for companies around the globe today. By letting people from different perspectives and business speak, we would like to underline the important role of business in this decade of action. ‘On stage’ now: changemaker Merick Schoute, founder and Chief Business at Holie Foods.
Holie has been a purpose-driven company from its start in 2018. What was your actual wake-up call for contributing to a better world and the reason for starting your business?
It wasn’t a typical light-bulb moment, but I’ve always been passionate about science and nature. The last few years I’ve read a lot and gained new knowledge. And the more you know about climate change, the more worried you become. I believe my tipping point was at the end of 2017 when I decided that I wanted to get up every morning to drive positive change for our planet. Having a lot of fun along the way. That’s why we founded Holie.
What is your call to action for companies around the globe?
Our friend Einstein once said: “it’s insane to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.” We operate in a broken system where too many companies focus on making profit at all cost. I believe climate change is the defining issue of our time and we’re at a defining moment. So my call to action would be to ask companies around the globe to shift towards a model in which positive impact for people & planet becomes just as valuable as making profit. So, use your business as a force for good. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together.
Speaking of collective action: the Sustainable Development Goals are an important blueprint for making the world a better place. Which of these goals calls you most and why?
Of course it’s hard to choose. But I would pick Goal 15: Life on land. I believe restoring & protecting our ecosystems and putting a halt to the loss of biodiversity is the most essential goal for our own future on this planet.
Call me a changemaker, let’s fast-forward to 2030. What have you achieved?
Holie in 2030 :). By then, we’ve planted over a million trees and we’ll be a climate positive company (a.k.a. carbon negative). We’ll inspire millions of people on a daily basis, with delicious food products that are good for their health & great for the planet. Next to empowering people to live more sustainably, I hope that we’ll still be the same creative, light-hearted & positive company.
If you could invite one company to join the B Corp community, what company would that be and why?
I would say Oatly. They’re doing an amazing job in challenging the dairy industry on a global scale now. I believe it would be a classic win-win if they would join the movement. Oatly’s name would strengthen the B Corp movement and by joining they would inspire & accelerate positive change around the globe. On the other hand, Oatly would benefit from joining, because I’m sure they could also learn a lot from the knowledge of B-lab and the community.